The Task Force was created in September 1985. The purpose of the task force was to critically examine the concerns of minorities with their treatment in the courts and to propose solutions to identified problems. The Task Force was created after Chief Justice Robert Weilentz met with representatives of the Coalition of Minorities in the Judiciary in the summer of 1983. The Coalition was an organization founded in 1980 to address issues of concern to racial minorities in the judiciary and to make recommendations to the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Administrative Director of the Courts on ways to address problems relating to minority concerns. As a result of the meeting, the Chief Justice convened a Committee on Minority Concerns for the purpose of addressing the concerns of the Coalition. After reviewing the Committee's report, in September 1985, the Task force was created.

The Task Force retained several independent research consultants to execute a wide-ranging research program. The Task Force also met with representatives of bar associations, administrators of key public and private agencies involved with the administration of justice, and conducted telephone surveys. Thirteen public hearings were held at different locations around the state. Written testimony was also taken.

A judicial survey aimed at capturing perceptions of bias in the justice system was undertaken. Of the 340 Superior Court judges attending the Judicial College, nearly 50% returned the questionnaire. The response rate for court administrators attending the Judicial Staff College was 61%.


The Supreme Court should require that all rules and directives regarding bail be reviewed and revised in order to promulgate procedures to be applied uniformly statewide.

The Chief Justice should consider approaching the Attorney General to explore the possibility of jointly sponsoring an empirical analysis of recent New Jersey samples of bail and sentencing outcomes, controlling for key factors that influence the outcomes of these decisions, examining the possibility of cumulative discrimination effects over the sequence of decisions from arrest through sentencing, and determining the degree to which discrimination occurs at each of those decision points.